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1 ` Thank you for your interest in the position of SENIOR FAMILY/CARE & PROTECTION LAW SOLICITOR Parramatta with the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW /ACT) Limited (ALS). Package $100,285 Temporary 12 months Fulltime (35 hours per week) Salary sacrificing (i.e. tax savings ) FBT motor vehicle Our Information Package contains a position description, guide on how to respond to the selection criteria, information regarding the selection process for this position, and our key policy areas. If you would like more information about the ALS, please visit our website at In your application the following are required: 1. Cover letter indicating your Interest in the Position 2. An up-to-date Resume 3. A statement responding to our Selection Criteria 4. A copy of current NSW Drivers Licence 5. A copy of Qualifications 6. A copy of Working With Children Check Please send application as follows: POST Ms Brittany Tilden Regional Administration Co-ordinator Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited PO BOX W 37 Parramatta Westfields Parramatta NSW PHONE FAX Applications for this position close 7 th February

2 P O S I T I O N D E S C R I P T I O N Senior Solicitor Parramatta Permanent 2

3 1. PURPOSE OF POSITION Provide high quality legal advice and representation to clients, in Care and Protection matters and State Family Law matters, in accordance with the Aboriginal Legal Service policies, procedures and guidelines; to contribute to the implementation of the Aboriginal Legal Service s strategic plan to deliver high quality legal services to Aboriginal clients 2. REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS Supervisor: Unit Principal Legal Officer Overall supervisor: Unit Regional Manager Reporting to this Position: Nil 3. ORGANISATIONAL CONTEXT The ALS commenced operations on 1 July The ALS provides legal services to Aboriginal clients across NSW/ACT. It was established as a Public Benevolent Institution and operates to assist economically and socially disadvantaged Aboriginal people to understand and protect their rights in the legal system. The ALS Board, which consists of the Chairperson and 13 voting Directors includes the Chair and CEO plus 2 Honorary Directors, establishes the broad policies and strategic plan of the ALS. The ALS is the largest agency delivering legal services to Aboriginal clients in Australia, comprising a head office in Sydney (Redfern) and 23 offices in metropolitan, regional and remote centres across NSW/ACT. The key programs and services provided by the ALS include: Legal advice and referral for clients; Duty lawyer service in specified court locations; Criminal law advice and litigation; Care and Protection advice and litigation; Family Law advice and litigation; Work and development orders; Family and Civil Law referrals; Law reform; Community Legal Education(CLE) and outreach; The Care and Protection Division provides advice, non court assistance, duty solicitor and representation to clients in matters in the Children s Court, District Court, Supreme Court and the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. Care and protection solicitors provide these services from one metropolitan and regional office (Lismore, Wollongong, Newcastle, and Parramatta) and servicing Dubbo. Care and protection solicitors also conduct outreach services and telephone 3

4 advice to assist more distant clients. Solicitors in the Care and Protection Division also provide Community Legal Education. Care and Protection Field Officers work in partnership with Aboriginal Legal Service Care & Protection solicitors in a unique model of legal service delivery helping to deliver better outcomes for our clients both in and outside the courtroom. Care and Protection Field Officers provide referral and support services to clients and provide information to solicitors regarding relevant care and protection issues arising in the Community. The Family Law Division provides advice, non court assistance, duty lawyer and representation to clients in the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court of Australia. Family law solicitors provide these services from one Metropolitan Office (Parramatta). Family Lawyers also conduct regular outreach services and telephone advice to assist more distant clients. Solicitors in the Family Law Division also provide Community Legal Education. Family Law Field Officers work in partnership with Aboriginal Legal Service Family law solicitors in a unique model of legal service delivery helping to deliver better outcomes for our clients both in and outside the courtroom. Family Law Field Officers provide referral and support services to clients and provide information to solicitors regarding relevant Family Law issues arising in the Community. 4. NATURE AND SCOPE OF POSITION MAJOR DUTIES The position is responsible for: The delivery of early intervention legal services including advice and non court assistance to clients. Conducting an efficient and effective legal practice in Care and Protection matters and Family Law and Child Support Matters, including via an Outreach program as required. Determining applications for merit under delegated authority. Complying with ALS policies and practice management standards and undertaking all related administrative and case management activities. Contributing to the development and review of Aboriginal Legal Service procedures and guidelines; Contributing to the development and review of law reform and policy initiatives as Family Law and Care & Protection issues arise Undertaking a range of Community Legal Education tasks. 4

5 KEY CHALLENGES OR CONSTRAINTS Being able to communicate with, take instructions from and effectively represent Aboriginal clients who may present as distressed, have a physical or intellectual disability, or have problem behaviours such as drug or alcohol addictions, when the legal concepts involved are complex and difficult for the client to understand. Maintaining and enhancing professional competence, keeping abreast of legal developments, changes in ALS policies, systems, guidelines, and practices and community needs. DECISION MAKING The position is guided in its decision-making by legislation such as Legal Profession Act 2004; by the ALS policies & guidelines and ALS Care & Protection and Family Practice standard benchmarks. The position holder makes independent decisions relating to the day-to-day conduct of his or her legal practice within this context. The position will be supported by the Unit Principal Legal Officer & Regional Manager on a regular basis and consult with the Unit Principal Legal Officer before determining applications for merit in complex matters. COMMUNICATION Internal The key relationship is with the Unit Principal Legal Officer. The position holder also interacts closely with Care and Protection and Family Field Officers, Legal Administration Assistants and other Care and Protection and Family Solicitors. External Externally, the position holder has regular contact with clients and potential client s assistance, taking instructions, where appropriate and providing oral and written advice. The position holder is in contact with private legal practitioners, judges, magistrates, court staff, medical professionals, support services and officers from the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support, Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services 5

6 5. KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES Providing an efficient and effective legal service to clients in Care and Protection and Family Law matters, in accordance with legislation and directions, policy, guidelines and practice standards, including: - Providing legal advice, minor assistance and duty solicitor services to Aboriginal clients; - Representing clients, including appearing for clients, instructing counsel when necessary and participating, as appropriate, in dispute resolution including negotiating early resolution of litigation; - Conducting casework including taking instructions, undertaking research and preparation of documents/ submissions; - Providing appropriate referrals to other agencies/services as required. Determining merit in Family Law and Care & Protection matters under delegated authority and consistent with ALS policy and guidelines; - Making recommendations about merit and exercising discretion as required; - Undertaking active case management and complying with practice standards for case management; Effectively utilise the ALS electronic database including entering data in accordance with the standards and requirements of the systems, preparing required documentation and maintaining appropriate records in both soft and hard copy forms. Contributing to development and ongoing review of ALS guidelines, including contributing to law reform initiatives through providing feedback as requested on issues raised and/or /documents distributed. Organising and presenting information sessions for current and potential clients and conducting Community Legal Education and Outreach as required; Assisting with the preparation of printed promotional materials and/or information booklets and pamphlets; Keeping up-to-date on legal developments and procedures and identifying training needs and attending training to maintain professional standards and retain a practicing certificate; Perform the required duties in accordance with the requirements of the following legislation and/or ALS policies Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Work Health & Safety (WH&S) 6

7 6. QUALIFICATIONS, KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE Legal qualifications and an NSW Practicing Certificate. Knowledge of NSW Care and Protection Laws and Family Law Capacity to represent Aboriginal clients and undertake an advocacy role before Courts or Tribunals. Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to provide quality customer service in a high volume work environment. Proven capacity to identify and understand legal issues facing socially and economically disadvantaged Aboriginal peoples. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to conduct Community Legal Education Capacity to prepare excellent written communication skills to prepare court documents, correspondence, submissions and other written materials. Ability to understand ALS policies and procedures. Well developed legal research/analytical and statutory interpretation skills. Ability to meet deadlines, work without close supervision and to manage a diverse workload Demonstrated computer skills. Class C Drivers licence Job Notes: The successful applicant will need to have a willingness to drive in metropolitan and country locations as well as a willingness to travel by plane and stay overnight or longer to undertake outreach work or training, as required. The position offered is subject to the Employee agreeing to undergo: Criminal History Check Approved access to Correctional Centres, Court and Police cells. SELECTION CRITERIA Legal qualifications and a NSW Practicing Certificate. Knowledge of NSW Care and Protection Laws and Family Law Capacity to represent Aboriginal clients and undertake an advocacy role before Courts or Tribunals. Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to provide quality customer service in a high volume work environment. Proven capacity to identify and understand legal issues facing socially and economically disadvantaged Aboriginal peoples. Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to conduct Community Legal Education Capacity to prepare excellent written communication skills to prepare court documents, correspondence, submissions and other written materials. 7

8 Ability to understand ALS policies and procedures. Well developed legal research/analytical and statutory interpretation skills. Ability to meet deadlines, work without close supervision and to manage a diverse workload Demonstrated computer skills. Class C Drivers licence NSW Working With Children Clearance 8

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